If you’re looking to learn more about Wisconsin artisan cheeses, and taste some awesome new varieties in the process, then run, don’t walk to three cheese shops in Milwaukee, Madison and Sauk City between now and June.

First, On Thursday, May 1 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., malt and barley will meet curds and whey at the Milwaukee Public Market. Join West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board where some of Wisconsin’s finest cheeses will be paired alongside craft beers.

The public will have the chance to meet several Wisconsin cheesemakers and cheese experts and learn how their cheeses pair with your favorite Porter or Lager. You’ll sample cheeses from Carr Valley Cheese, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Roelli Cheese, Sartori Foods, Saxon Creamery, Seymour Dairy, and Uplands Cheese.

Cheeses will be paired with beer from Ale Asylum, Stevens Point Brewery, Unibroue, Lakefront Brewery, Furthermore Beer, and Great Lakes Brewing Co. Also, meet author Pam Percy as she signs copies of her newly published book, “Wisconsin Cheese: A Cookbook and Guide to the Cheeses of Wisconsin” and watch a cooking demo by Executive Chef Jack Kaestner of Oconomowoc Lake Club. Whew — sounds like a full two hours. Cost of the event is $10. Save your seat by calling the Milwaukee Public Market at 414-336-1111.

Then, Fromagination on the downtown Capital Square in Madison has just announced a great line-up of classes and events between now and June. Word is there are still a couple of seats open for tonight’s Sweet Spring: Fruit Ales & Mixed Milk Cheeses with beer connoisseur Lucy Saunders. For $30, you get to taste a bunch of perfectly paired beers and cheeses and be entertained by the beercook lady at the same time.

Then, on May 3, May 10 and May 16, you can meet three cheesemakers and taste some amazing Wisconsin cheeses for absolutely FREE at Fromagination. On May 3, Joe Burns from Fayette Creamery samples his Little Darling & Avondale Truckle from noon to 3 p.m. On May 10, Bruce Workman from Edelweiss Creamery will be in the house from 1-2 p.m. to sample his big wheel swiss (Bruce is the only cheesemaker in America making traditional 180-pounds of Emmentaler). Jerry Apps will also be on-hand in the morning to sign copies of his new children’s’ book about a master cheesemaker. On May 16, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese will be in the house from 3-6 p.m., sampling their fresh mozz, Mascarpone and Les Freres.

Shameless self promotion alert: on May 13, I’ll be leading another Cheese 101 class, where from 7-8:30 p.m., you get to listen to my stand up routine on the hows and whys of tasting cheeses and finding perfect companions. It’s a great casual class and we let you drink beer and wine during it. Really, who could ask for anything more? Cost is $30.

Lastly (there are more, but go to the website to read the rest), my friend and newest Wisconsin cheese author Jeanette Hurt will be signing copies of her new Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cheeses of the World from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Then, be sure to check out the remaining three classes at the Carr Valley Cooking School at Sid Cook’s store in Sauk City. He’s bringing in some pretty amazing chefs to teach cooking classes featuring his cheeses. On May 7, John Caputo, executive chef and partner at Bin 36 and the newly opened A MANO, will show how to prepare a wonderful meal with wine pairings to rave about.

On May 21, Andrea Curto-Randazzo, chef and co-owner of Talula in Miami, Florida, will teach some of her eclectic blend style of cooking where you may taste anything blended from Caribbean, Asian, Latin American, Italian to American cuisine. And finally, Roberto Donna of Galileo Restaurant in Washington, D.C. will travel to Sauk City on June 4 to share his Italian cuisine and love of wine. Register online here.

Ready, set, register!!

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